It appears my holiday has started early again, just like it did last year so there is time for plenty of thinking about food and going shopping.

In addition, I have a friend here for a week – she’s having a holiday and I’m on staycation – so we have plenty of time to think up lovely things to eat. However, when we got back from the airport in the early afternoon neither of us was particularly motivated by anything much more than the bottle of Pineau we bought in the supermarket on the way home (and the bottle of honey Jack Daniels she bought at the airport) so our evening meal was somewhat cobbled-together and use of sharp knives was heavily discouraged.

The shopping list included ingredients that ended up in this meal: some best-before terrine de campagne that was 30% off (1,39€), some tomatoes (1,16€), a pack of five bits of cooked beetroot (1,31€), some cheese (2,57€), and two smoked and peppered mackerel fillets (4,75€).

And a bottle of Pineau.

  • One tomato
  • One pre-cooked beetroot
  • Some left-over green beans
  • Two cloves garlic
  • One smoked mackerel fillet
  • Cornichons
  • Parsley

Slice the tomato (carefully) and lay it on the plate. Salt lightly. Cut the beetroot in half (careful), then slice the beetroot in as thinly as you can (think carpaccio but remember your limits) and layer it decoratively over the tomato – because you have plenty of time.

Slice some garlic thinly.

Place some of the garlic on the beetroot then revive the green beans with a warmth, and a little olive oil. Place them on the beetroot, then dress with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season.

Finally, remove the skin from the back of the mackerel fillet and place it on top. Cut a cornichon into strips and place on the fish with some parsley.

Season and serve with crusty bread and any remaining Pineau.